University: University of California San Diego
Country: United States
Continent: North America
Field of study: banking and finance
Study type: semester abroad
The University of California San Diego campus is located in La Jolla in north San Diego. UCSD is one of the largest universities in the United States with approximately 31,500 students. As a result, the campus offers a variety of sports facilities (gyms, tennis courts, basketball courts, swimming pools, soccer fields, etc.), restaurants, and shopping, as well as computer labs, study rooms, and libraries. See liuxers for UTS Study Abroad.
The exchange programs are organized and coordinated by the UCSD Extension. However, the application is made much easier by the agency MicroEdu, which helps students worldwide to find accommodation at different universities. The agency’s services are free of charge for students as it works on the basis of commissions from partner universities.
The semester begins with a “kick-off” event in the form of an orientation day a few days before the start of the semester. This helps above all to become familiar with the campus and the choice of courses or the course registration process.
Courses at UCSD
The course enrollment process requires more effort than one is used to at local universities. In order to enroll in a course, you need the approval of the lecturer and the relevant department. This means that in order to ensure that you get enough courses, you should attend several courses during the first weeks of the semester, as you may not receive approval until two weeks after the start of the semester. In the end, however, I had no problem getting all the courses I wanted. The lecturer may want to know if you meet the required prerequisites. However, no proof is required for this. 1 unit at UCSD converts to 1.5 ECTS (at my home university – could vary by university). I have theattended the following courses :
- ECON 272 Intertemporal Asset Pricing (4 units)
- 6 ECTS
- No assignments during the semester
- Grading based on paper at the end of the semester
- IRGN 431 Fiscal and Monetary Policy (4 units)
- 6 ECTS
- 2 “problem sets” during the semester (each 10%)
- cooperation 10%
- midterm 35% and final 35%
- SIO 30 The Oceans (4 units)
- 6 ECTS
- “midterm” and “final” (the better result counts 60% and the other 40%)
The application deadline is April and a certificate of English proficiency is required ( TOEFL 90 or IELTS 7.5). However, as already mentioned, the application process is made much easier by the support of the MicroEdu agency. All necessary information regarding tuition fees, admission requirements and required documents can be found on the agency’s website.
Living in San Diego
Exchange students are not allowed to live on campus. However, there are other providers who rent housing to students (e.g. “Anatolia Housing” offers apartments for international students). Personally, I would recommend staying in PacificBeach or La Jolla, since both parts of the city are relatively close to the university and are a great residential area. Both parts of the city are located on the beach and offer everything you need. Especially the nightlife in Pacific Beach is highly recommended and more relaxed than the nightlife in downtown San Diego. I lived in La Jolla about 10 minutes away from the university during my exchange and was perfectly happy. I found my apartment on the website www.vacationrentals.com. In my opinion, La Jolla is the perfect place for the time during the semester abroad. One can enjoy the tranquil and very beautiful La Jolla with its great beaches while still being very close to the busier beaches and nightlife of Pacific Beach (about 10 minutes).
Outside the university
San Diego offers a variety of travel options and recreational activities. On my way to San Diego I was in New York for a week and flew to San Francisco from there. Both cities are definitely worth visiting while in the US. A highlight of my stay in the USA was the drive from San Francisco to San Diego on Highway 1 along the west coast.
Trips to Las Vegas (including the Grand Canyon), Mexico or Hawaii are recommended from San Diego. Personally, I have visited Los Angeles a number of times to attend various sporting events (ice hockey, basketball or college football), enjoy the nightlife or visit theme parks (e.g. Sixflags north of LA or Universal Studios Hollywood). But San Diego also offers interesting recreational opportunities. On the one hand, sporting events can be attended – professional games: San Diego Chargers (NFL) and San Diego Padres (MLB) or college games: UCSD and SDSU teams. On the other hand, the well-known attractions San Diego Zoo/Safari Park and Sea World are definitely worth a visit.
All in all, I would recommend a semester abroad at the University of California San Diego to anyone. The experiences at a typical American university and the great opportunities that San Diego offers in terms of leisure activities, landscape and weather are definitely reasons to consider a semester abroad in San Diego!!!!!